The process of sourcing replacement parts overseas needed a course correction for profitability.

The automotive industry relies on machinery and equipment to manufacture the vehicles we drive daily. Heavy-duty conveyor systems are one of the many types of equipment used in automotive assembly plants. These conveyor systems are critical to production as they help move vehicles through the assembly line. When these conveyor systems break down or require repairs, it can cause significant disruptions to the entire manufacturing process.

One of the challenges automotive manufacturers face when repairing conveyor systems is sourcing replacement parts. In many cases, the machinery used in automotive plants is imported from foreign countries, and replacement parts can have extended lead times and be expensive to obtain. This can cause significant issues when parts are needed quickly to get production back on track.

Case In Point:

  • A GM assembly plant needed a heavy duty conveyor system repaired, but the conveyor was manufactured in Europe, and replacement parts had significant lead times and costs.
  • The customer needed a reliable domestic source to decrease the cost of replacement parts and to provide the parts quickly.
  • Caster Concepts reverse-engineered and improved numerous components, incorporating polyurethane, fabrication, and precision machining.
  • These components included full buffer and drive assemblies, spline polyurethane wheel drive wheels, and precision bore key-way wheels that could be urethane coated for steel.

The Situation:

A GM assembly plant needed a heavy-duty conveyor system repaired. The system was very complicated and had a wide variety of drive wheels, idler wheels, or buffer wheels. The problem was that the conveyor was manufactured in Europe, and the replacement parts had significant lead times and costs. GM needed a reliable domestic source to decrease the cost of replacement parts and to provide the parts quickly.

The Solution:

The solution came from our engineering staff, who worked to reverse engineer and improve numerous conveyor system components, including full buffer and drive assemblies, spline polyurethane wheel drive wheels, and precision bore key-way wheels that could be urethane coated for steel.

The Savings:

We understood the need for a “non-standard” product and worked closely with the customer to design a unique product that was both cost-effective and met the customer’s needs. The outcome resulted in saving hundreds of jobs and minimizing the disruption to the manufacturing process.

Manufacturers face a significant challenge when sourcing replacement parts for foreign machinery used in the automotive industry. Long lead times and high costs can cause significant delays and disruptions to the production process. However, Caster Concepts has the expertise and knowledge to reverse engineer and improve components, providing cost-effective solutions to the challenges faced by automotive manufacturers.

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